There were about 11.7 million more U.S. residents enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP coverage in February 2015 than in October 2013, when the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Medicaid expansion took effect, according to a CMS report released last week.
CMS noted that enrollment in the programs increased by about 560,000 from the end of January 2015 to the end of February 2015. Further, the latest data show about a 20.3% increase over the average monthly enrollment for July 2013 through September 2013. Maine and Connecticut, which did not submit data for the baseline period, were not included in the count.
In total, more than 70.5 million U.S. residents were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP as of February 2015.
The report found that enrollment increased by about 27% in states that had expanded Medicaid compared with by about 8% in states that had not expanded program eligibility.
The Obama administration is still attempting to convince states to expand the program. For example, in Florida, the administration has sought to convince the state to expand Medicaid—which would cover an additional 800,000 residents—by linking it to separate federal funding for uncompensated care.
CMS tells states: Expand Medicaid or lose special hospital funds
However, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has filed suit against the administration, alleging that the administration's actions amount to illegal coercion (Sullivan, The Hill, 5/1; CMS report, 5/1).
The 3-minute story behind Medicaid expansion
The Medicaid expansion makes for great political theatre, but there's a real story behind the drama: If, when, and how states choose to expand Medicaid has huge ripple effects on providers and patients.
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